There was a mixed public response to the refusal of the planning applications, in comments posted on the Mid Ulster Mail’s Facebook page.
Nicola Macrory wrote: “I am torn on this one! Would be fantastic for Magherafelt in the job front but it would also affect the smaller retailer’s and with the bypass starting soon less people will be driving through to stop and shop in our town centre which could lead to job losses, really can’t make up my mind at all!!!
Raymond Stockman posted: “Magherafelt missing out in NEW JOBS again?”
Which prompted this response from Máirtín Mac Lochlaínn: “Its not losing out on new jobs, it’s saving jobs in the town centre. apart from temporary construction work, those proposed stores offer nothing for Magherafelt.”
Neil Hyndman challenged another comment in favour of the plans. “Retail parks are one of the main contributors to town/ city centres struggling all over the UK.
“I can appreciate the appeal but it is important that we protect/ continue to improve upon what we have already,” he said.